Reaching Out, Breaking Grounds: A Christmas Celebration for Aetas of Limay


“Takot kami dati sa mga Unat.”

This was an overheard statement from an Aeta from an upland community in Limay, Bataan during a group’s Christmas outreach. The elderly woman was referring to lowlanders or Filipinos outside their tribe. Unat is a Filipino word that means someone with straight hair, that differentiate them from Aetas who have curly hair. 

We can’t blame the Aetas, or any other indigenous tribes in the country, for harboring fear toward their fellow Filipinos who have periodically abused and displaced them in the past and even to this day.

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IN PHOTOS: The Indigenous People of Palaui Island, Cagayan

Text and Photos By Euden Valdez

IN our archipelago of 7,641 islands, there live indigenous peoples (IP) of distinct ethnicity and languages. In fact, there are about 80 ethno-linguistic groups, each with their own distinct culture, traditions and heritage.

​To bring understanding, appreciation and respect toward IPs, October has been proclaimed as the National Indigenous Peoples Month in the Philippines. Every year during the IP Month, their unique identities and their ways of life are celebrated all over the country. Dayaw Festival, lead by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, is one such celebration, which the province of Capiz is hosting this year.  
Traveling Journo Ph is one in honoring and recognizing our fellow IPs this month.

Continue reading “IN PHOTOS: The Indigenous People of Palaui Island, Cagayan”

Palaui Island’s Best Accommodation is at Home with the Agta

Text and Photos by Euden Valdez

TECHNOLY has transformed the ways people travel nowadays. Take for example the rise of online booking apps, which has made private properties accessible as accommodation instead of the more expensive hotels and resorts. 

But even before the rise of AirBnb and the likes, home-staying has been preferred by nomads, backpackers and budget travelers. They arrive at a destination without accommodation and hope and pray there is a host willing to accept them under their roofs. Why do this? Not just because it is cheaper but also because it allows them to know their destination better through its people and their ways of life.

​While this concept is taking the backseat, it remains to be practiced by RAK Ph Mountaineers, an outdoor-advocacy movement in support sustainable and ethical tourism. In March, RAK (meaning Random Act of Kindness) went to Palaui Island in Cagayan province not only as ordinary tourists but also as guests of the Agta tribe of Punta Verde. We were billeted at the household of Erick Agcaoili and his family, a warm and welcoming bunch. 

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When You Give, You Receive: RAK Holds Annual Outreach for Aetas of Tarlac



​​This is one concept that Random Act of Kindness – RAK Ph Mountaineers live by. That whatever you give, you also receive. By extending kindness in the form of our Christmas outreach called “Give Light on Christmas Day and Pasko Fiesta,” we also received so much more from our Aeta recipients.

Our beneficiaries, 36 households residing in an Aeta Resettlement in Sitio Camiling, Brgy. Papaac, Camiling, Tarlac, through their very own hands, dug earth crops like ube, cassava and ginger from their own lands as gifts in exchange of our donations.

Continue reading “When You Give, You Receive: RAK Holds Annual Outreach for Aetas of Tarlac”